The idea that normal people can’t make a difference to an epidemic as massive as AIDS in Africa couldn’t be further from the truth.
Product (RED) is making a very big difference in the lives of women and children living with AIDS in Africa. In the last 20 months, (RED) has generated $51.5 million for the Global Fund. What does that mean in real terms?
(RED) money flowing to Swaziland supports Global Fund-financed programs that have already reached over 8,000 mothers with services to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV and nearly 100,000 people with testing for the prevention of HIV. In Rwanda, (RED) money supports programs that have reached over 316,000 pregnant women with services to reduce mother-to-child transmission and over 630,000 people with testing for prevention. In Ghana, (RED) money supports programs that have enabled over 212,000 people to complete the HIV testing and counseling process. These examples are just a small part of (RED) money at work in Africa.
There seems to have been a misunderstanding at the AU forum about what our organization is and what our goals are. (RED) is not a charity - it is a business model that allows companies to do good and make money at the same time. The Global Fund was created in 2002 as a public/private partnership - countries were asked to donate annually, and private donations from companies and people were solicited. In the first five years of its existence, the Global Fund received over $5 billion from governments but only $6 million from the private sector. (RED) was created to change that imbalance by creating a sustainable way for companies to give to the Global Fund. We have done just that, generating $51.5 million in just 20 months, more than eight times the amount the Fund had received in its previous five years from the private sector.
I think the real lesson here is that each of us can make a difference, even in the fight against the AIDS pandemic.
Head of Global Communications, (RED)